European opportunities prove ever tempting for young footballers.
With the likes of young English talent Jadon Sancho, Reece Nelson and Reece Oxford all flourishing in European top leagues, chances for young players within the English leagues is a topic that has come under recent scrutiny.
With now what seems a golden generation of English talent, Ex-Eastleigh defender Ollie Griggs has brought to light some of the issues surrounding English youth systems.
“There is a complete lack of chance for young players to play regularly in any leagues higher than League 2 because it’s so competitive in England, nobody can afford to lose a game.
“You have to be so lucky, right place right time”.
Griggs has had a career riddled with injuries and now works as a personal trainer in Bournemouth alongside playing for semi-professional club Dorchester Town.
He does however regret not expanding his horizons beyond England, a decision he urges other young English players to consider.
“I wish I played in Spain or Germany as a youngster, not only because of more potential game time, but because the training is much more individual and technical, it would improve any young player.
“You have to stick with it, it’s a long, hard process in England and you have to be exceptional, I honestly regret not playing abroad and if I could go back three years or so I would”.
Chelsea’s recent refusal to allow starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi to join German giants Bayern Munich amid a lack of playing time is a recent story to steal headlines, something Griggs believes will be damaging at an International level also.
“Hudson-Odoi isn’t playing anywhere near enough, so a move abroad would be great for him as a player, look at how Jadon Sancho has done after leaving Manchester City.
“He won’t want to play well for Chelsea, so there is no benefit to keeping him, if anything they’ll make him a worse player for England as well”.
England Under 20’s 2017 World Cup win is evidence that the future looks bright for the three lions, but whether England is the place to continually nurture such talent, will be seen in due course.